Robbers shoot charity worker

Robbers shoot charity worker

Harriet Alexander and Arjun Ramachandran
July 3, 2008

A Sydney charity worker who lived by the code "bad things happen when good people do nothing" has been shot dead in Tanzania.

Darren Stratti, 36, who had professed to having a "strange attraction to uncomfortable situations" had been working in the town of Arusha in northern Tanzania for 18 months with the Australian non-profit organisation known as foodwatershelter.

He was killed on Monday during a robbery, the organisation said in a statement. "Darren gave his life bravely to protect those around him," a spokeswoman said. His brother, Jason, said last night Mr Stratti was "an exceptional person". He had been successful as an independent musician in Sydney, playing with drummer Danny Heifetz from the international indie act Mr Bungle.

Mr Stratti was the father of two boys, Robbie, 18, and Daniel, 14. Mr Stratti, who was from Chipping Norton, had been the foreman on a project to build and run an eco-friendly children’s village in Arusha called Kesho Leo, which means "tomorrow today" in Swahili.

The spokeswoman said his death was a shock as there had been no trouble in the area. "Most people only found out about it this morning," she said. "It’s still very raw. He will be missed greatly."

Mr Stratti’s ex-wife, Heidi, the mother of his two children, did not speak to the Herald last night.

Mr Stratti’s son oldest, Robbie, spent four months with Mr Stratti in Tanzania, returning to Australia only three weeks ago.

In a tribute posted on his father’s profile on social-networking site Facebook, Robbie Stratti wrote: "you are everything anyone could ever ask for in a dad plus alot more!!! i am greatfull for the great 4months that i was lucky enough to share with you in africa.. it is a pitty that it ended 3 weeks ago and now this great tradgedy has happened..

"what you have don it you life is special mate and nobody that i know can say they have accomplished what you have… you are a hero.. my hero .. and you always will be!!!

"i love you mate always will!!! and ill never forget you!!!"

Mr Stratti’s younger son, Daniel, wrote that both he and his brother would continue their father’s legacy.

"Both Robbie and I are sad about this tragic situation but we know that you have done great things as a human being and you shall do even better in your lives to come," he wrote on the Facebook site.

"Everything you have taught Robbie and I will stay with us for ever and I will try my best to be even beastier than you are.

"Your soul, way of life and legacy will live on through Robbie and I and the songs that you have written will immortalise you.

"I hope you completed your life how you had planned and I hope you had all the experiences that you wished for. I love you always."

Mr Stratti’s autobiographical profile on his organisation’s website says: "Father of two teenage boys, who I’m very proud of. When I’m not in Africa, I live in Sydney with the love of my life and [foodwatershelter] president, Rebecka [Delforce].

"Have a strange attraction to uncomfortable situations, not sure if it’s an illness yet, but it does help me to fearlessly jump in and have a go at anything.

"Have a great desire to use my skills to help others and [foodwatershelter] is that opportunity. Love being in Tanzania and building Kesho Leo children’s village. Hoping to help make [the charity] something fantastic, world-wide, where like-minded people can join in and share their talents to help others."

No further details of the incident were available and a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said consular help was being provided to Mr Stratti’s family.

with AAP

Original Source

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